how do i manage an enormous chest
April 9, 2007 4:12 AM   Subscribe

i have an enormous chest and it's very heavy. it's wood. i made it myself. it's about 1.5 metres squared and one metre high. i use it to store "stuff" in and i want to put casters on it, but not significantly increase its height. the problem is that all the casters or wheels that would take the kind of weight of the chest are gi frickin' normous. and all the casters/wheels i've seen with a lower profile have quite low weight restrictions. can i just put heaps more small casters on the box or do i have to put the huge casters on that fit the overall weight of my chest? i believe the chest weighs in the vicinity of about 100kilograms.... and when you fill it with all the stuff i keep in it.... maybe 150-200 kilograms. help me before i set fire to it in frustration.... my physics, like gravity, sucks.
posted by taff to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
Best answer: If you put four casters on it (one at each corner), each one only needs to hold one quarter of the total weight of the chest. If you put six on (three evenly spaced along each long side), then each only needs to hold one sixth the total weight.

This, of course, assumes that the contents are evenly distributed inside the chest, so give yourself a little wiggle room in the planning stage.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:20 AM on April 9, 2007

Best answer: Yes, you can put more casters on and that will take the weight. However, small casters will be harder to push than large ones. If you are rolling on carpet, or over small bumps (between rooms, for instance) small casters are probably not going to work on such a huge box. I suggest sliders instead. Or, since you are apparently handy, some kind of removable wagon or sled arrangement for those times when you want to move it.
posted by DU at 4:28 AM on April 9, 2007

I think the best idea is castered wheels (sort of like what you see on luggage carts at hotels), but recessed into the cabinet so only about an inch sticks out. The only disadvantage is you'd lose a little room inside the cabinet for the wheel wells, and a little minor framework modification inside would be required to take the weight.
posted by rolypolyman at 5:41 AM on April 9, 2007

I just checked McMaster-Carr, an industrial-supply company. Since they're in the U.S., all units are English. The lowest-profile caster they sell that would work for you is 2.5", and is very expensive—about US$40. They have slightly taller ones at 2 7/8", rated for 200 lb each that cost about $10 each, and their catalog does state that your total load capacity is load rating x number of casters. Search for product 9908T12.

From what I've seen, short of re-engineering the chest, that's the best you'll do.
posted by adamrice at 6:30 AM on April 9, 2007

200 kilos ... about 400 pounds; that's only 100 lbs/wheel. That's really not very much. You could use little 'planet' style casters for that, the same style that are used on a lot of office chairs. That'll only add a few inches to the overall height. Depending on the thickness of the wood at the corners, you might be able to mount them directly into a hole that you drill into the wood. Others mount using a standard flat plate.

When you said "big," I was thinking of real industrial casters, which are what you'd find if you needed 400lbs or more per wheel. Those would probably add 6" or more in height if mounted on the bottom. (Of course, if the only concern is height, you can always use big casters and not mount them on the bottom; you can mount them on buttressed "ears" on the sides at the corners and reduce the height to a few inches overall. I do this on audio equipment racks and it works pretty well, although it may be a bit utilitarian for fine furniture.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:30 AM on April 9, 2007

There are frictionless pads you can but under the base, they will allow you to slide it around, they are advertised on TV.

Also this was a deceptive title for a question.
posted by BobbyDigital at 6:42 AM on April 9, 2007

What about a furniture dolly? Not the two wheeled tilt up kind, but the four wheeled carpet covered two by four kind. It's not permanent, but it prevents having to reinforce the bottom of your chest.
posted by electroboy at 7:42 AM on April 9, 2007

You could use nylon ball transfers. Each can handle 75lb, so maybe 8 on the bottom would work.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 9:14 AM on April 9, 2007

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